Garrison Keillor fired by Minnesota Public Radio over allegations of improper behavior

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The Post had syndicated Keillor's column after his retirement from "A Prairie Home Companion". "A world in which there is no sexual harassment at all is a world in which there will not be any flirtation".

Dozens of people said they planned to cancel their MPR memberships, including Bridget George of Anoka, who called in on Thursday morning.

In a statement to the Associated Press, he said he didn't want to drag MPR into a scandal: "I'm 75 and don't have any interest in arguing about this".

Keillor said, "I put my hand on a woman's bare back".

George said Keillor spoke at a fundraiser at her church previous year.

ELIZABETH BURKE-DAIN: The Poetry Foundation is shocked with this news. "He's a kind, caring, compassionate person, and I just think we should remember the whole person when we think about consequences for behavior". In addition, MPR retained an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation of the allegations.

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"I am very sorry for those who are abused, sorry for the abusers who had no clue about women's boundaries and sorry for us who will be deprived of their wit and wisdom from more innocent days", she wrote. MPR President Jon McTaggart immediately informed the MPR Board Chair, and a special Board committee was appointed to provide oversight and ongoing counsel.

APM leaders have declined significant comment beyond the statement posted by the company on Wednesday.

"Knowing he (Keillor) was under investigation for his workplace behavior, he should not have written a column on that subject; or, if he was going to write, he should have told his editors and readers that he was under investigation", Hiatt said. It also noted that while the investigation continues, "based on what we now know, there are no similar allegations involving other staff".

The Grammy Award-winner emailed the Associated Press with both the news of his firing and a bit of a defense: The story of his alleged misdeeds is "more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard", Keillor wrote. In an email to the Star Tribune, he says he meant to pat a woman on her back when she told him she was unhappy. "She recoiled. I apologized", the statement reads.

In an email to MPR's news boss Wednesday afternoon, Keillor wrote, "I think the country is in the grip of a mania - the whole Franken business is an absurdity - and I wish someone [would] resist it, but I expect MPR to look out for itself, and meanwhile I feel awfully lucky to have hung on for so long". "While we appreciate the contributions Garrison has made to MPR and to all of public radio, we believe this decision is the right thing to do and is necessary to continue to earn the trust of our audiences, employees and supporters of our public service".

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